Lean Six Sigma Consulting

What is Lean Six Sigma?

‘Lean Six Sigma’ emerges from the amalgamation of two conceptions – Lean and Six Sigma. The objective of bringing these two concepts to form as one is process improvisation. The goal of Lean Six Sigma is the reduction of the variations and deficiencies in the business processes for achieving the best results in the best possible way. Eliminating ‘what is not necessary’ is the moot point of Lean Six Sigma. What we intend to achieve are fit processes; processes as they need to be, nothing more, nothing less.

For example, a complaint resolution process should be capable of handling any grievance in the best possible way. This  can be achieved with detailed process definitions in terms of who, what, when, how, and where.

Lean Six Sigma Consulting

If a query/complaint is outside the scope of the resolution, there should be an action course for that too. If a particular task is not required, such tasks or process elements should be removed from the concerned resolution workflows.

To put it in a more technical way, Lean Six Sigma is a management philosophy to rationalise process and operational capabilities.

The concept of Lean Six Sigma originated in Japan and the USA. Numerous businesses and industries have adopted it since its inception. It was almost inevitable. Where there are processes, improvisations become necessary. And when it comes to process improvisations, Lean Six Sigma is a powerful tool.

How BPX can help: Apparent & Hidden Benefits of Lean Six Sigma Application

With more than 10 years of experience of having worked with 500+ clients from a multitude of industries, we understand the requirements of business process management in modern-day enterprises. As process experts, lean philosophy is inherent to our functioning and solutions and services.

BPX can help your business not just incorporate Lean Six Sigma into your business processes but also realise its fundamental benefits. What we seek to deliver to our clients via lean process solutions is highlighted ahead.

Space Optimisation

How a business enterprise is able to optimise its space utilisation emanates from layout planning and business process management. Here we will discuss the aspects concerning business processes.

When it comes to space management, multiple processes or operations (including planning and decision-making) leave their impacts. These include demand projections, merchandising planning, procurement, staffing, logistics, etc. The lack of objectivity and inefficiencies in these processes do not leave much room for businesses to emphasise space optimisation. Implementing Lean Six Sigma in business process management helps companies incorporate space optimisation goals in their operational planning. For example, in the procurement process, purchases based on guesswork could be altogether avoided. These factors may look intuitive or ones not requiring separate emphasis. But embracing Lean Six Sigma in BPM adds certainty of the required way of thinking.

Inventory Management

Proper storage, the timely availability of goods, no under or over-stocking situations, and barring any unwarranted investment into goods are the four most important objectives of inventory management for any organisation.

Proper storage of goods comes under the purview of inward warehouse operations. Placing orders/reorders on time is an affirmative step towards ensuring the timely availability of goods. Unnecessary investments into inventory and under or over-stocking situations could be avoided via accurate demand forecasting, merchandising decisions, sticking to budgets, and determination of ROQs (Re-Order Quantities). Many important operational decisions are made in the course of these business processes and operational activities. And these decisions should be guided by defined parameters. The implementation of the Lean Six Sigma philosophy in operational planning helps achieve accuracy in making these decisions.

Lean Warehousing

The emergence of eCommerce and other innovative business models has altered the role and functioning of traditional warehouses. Today, warehouse management must toe the line of speed and accuracy delivered by fulfilment centres for eCommerce. Even if your business has nothing to do with eCommerce, the presence of competition from online players would not let you manage your warehouse operations in traditional ways. Your warehouse operations management must achieve alignment with the business model and strategic integration, consistency in product availability, process-IT synchronisation, and omnichannel capabilities.

The application of lean warehousing principles and practices helps businesses get away with process redundancies, inconsistencies, bottlenecks, and wastages and emphasise only what is essential.

For example, automation has become necessary in traditional warehouses to keep pace with contemporary business requirements. But it would be extremely challenging to adopt a suitable automation solution (say a WMS) if warehouse operations are poorly defined, not rationalised, or have deficiencies in them.

Logistics Optimisation

Logistics constitute a major element in the cost sheet of companies. This is irrespective of whether logistics is outsourced or internally owned and operated. In either case, the goal should be to optimise the movement cycles and the use of logistical resources.

Logistical movements are primarily driven by purchase and order requirements. These two are further affected by existing and future demand forecasts. Applying Lean Six Sigma in these decision-making processes will necessitate that emphasis is placed on identifying the optimal inventory requirements while keeping in mind the constraints of each process.

For example, orders received from customers could be accumulated for batch transit every 3-4 days or any other similar cycle where bulk discount benefits can be obtained from the immediate courier service provider. If the demand forecasts are higher, this cycle could be shortened while still retaining the discount benefits.

Lean Staffing

Lean structuring is one of the common strategies adopted by businesses to overcome difficult economic and other environmental circumstances. Lean staffing is one of the last resorts adopted by companies to cut down on their expenses. However, such moves are generally not viewed in a positive light. Another good reason to maintain a lean organisation structure is to save on salary bills even during the ordinary course of time. It is also easier to manage smaller organisational structures, fewer departments, and smaller teams. From manpower planning to exit procedures, having lean HR processes ensure that what is required gets done with minimum resources.

For example, if there are two posts vacant, only two recruits should be hired. There is absolutely no need to hire an equally deserving but additional candidate in anticipation of creating a future role that currently does not exist in the organisation structure.

Focused Marketing

Businesses can no longer stay away from digital marketing. Simultaneously, they also cannot sideline the ROI of their efforts in digital marketing. Embracing lean six sigma in digital marketing directs businesses to focus on the best and ignore the rest. This implies being right with audiences, channels, content, timing, and budgeting. It leads to the consideration of using advanced process and analytical tools for higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness in digital marketing management.

Customer Experience

The efficiency of business processes carries a chain reaction effect on customer experience. Even a small process deviation or deficiency early in the value chain could prevent delivering a good customer experience. Applying lean philosophy goes a long way in securing a superlative customer experience. Take the example of a QC process in inbound warehouse operations. Missing out on a single point in the QC checklist would let a wrong item enter the value chain. And that deviation or deficiency could lead to becoming a source of dissatisfaction for customers. In the same way, if unnecessary aspects are included in the QC process, it would delay the order fulfilment and eventually hamper customer experience.

About BPX

We are a management consulting brand specialising in business process management. We develop process and SOP solutions for business and non-business enterprises. From planning to implementation, our services and solutions are developed and executed along the lines of planned processes and proven principles. The service design and delivery are carried out by expert and experienced business process consultants. BPX is now a brand with a scaling global presence and we continue to improvise our endeavors in that direction.

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Unless there are reasons to the contrary, there is no question why you should not implement Lean Six Sigma in your business process management. Read the benefits in this blog.
Our team carries out certain preliminary assessments for a more informed answer and insights into this question.
An undefined operational framework is one of the foremost challenges. Another hurdle is change management. We rather see these as requirements including the involvement of top-level executives in these kinds of enterprise-wide projects.
It depends on the size and scale of the business operations in question. Our experts can provide a more informed answer after the preliminary assessments.
You are already at the right place. We offer process solutions to businesses.

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